Thursday, May 3 was National Day of Prayer. The local observance was held in "The Blue Room" of Covenant United Methodist Church. The room was full of those who came to worship and pray.
Rev. Roger Yoder opened the assembly with President Obama's proclamation for this day of national prayer. The music was led by Pastor Tom Seaman and folks from different churches.
Several spiritual leaders of our community prayed for the country, national and local governments, schools, families, community and revival for the Lock Haven and surrounding communities.
The rain sent us away from the downtown park site to an inside space, but the rain never "dampened" our spirits.
I had the privilege of leading a prayer for the community, and I would like to share the prayer I wrote with you:
"Community: The dictionary says it is a body of people living in the same place under the same law.
"A community of believers would still be the same... we are under God's Law. Will you pray with me:
"Holy God, hear our prayer.
"Lord as we gather as the Lock Haven and neighboring communities, we pray that we always follow your laws: We pray to have no other gods before you; to make no idols, bow down to them or worship them; to never take your name in vain; to observe the Sabbath as holy; to honor our fathers and mothers.
"We shall not murder. We shall not commit adultery. We shall not steal. We shall not bear false witness against our neighbor. We shall not covet our neighbor's wife, house, field, slaves, or anything that belongs to our neighbors.
"We pray to live by the commandments that Jesus Christ gave to us. We are to love our God and our neighbors. With your help, O God, we can build community through your words of wisdom and your spirit.
"We are ever grateful for the beauty that surrounds us in this valley. We praise you for the glorious mountains, the valley and the waterways that make up this community. We thank you for your creation. We pray to be good stewards of the resources you have provided to us, so that we may sustain a clean and prosperous community.
"We pray for health, wholeness, and holiness for all in this community.
"We ask that you pour your power and strength over the businesses here so that they may prosper. We pray your blessing on all employed and your care on those unemployed in our community.
"We lift to you all the faith communities and service organizations that exist to build a safe and loving community. We pray that those groups and agencies abide by the word of Micah, 'to do what the Lord requires of us... to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.'
"Keep us diverse in all aspects that we may grow in a rich and peaceful, blended community.
"We pray to model ourselves after the first faith community after Jesus Christ, when the believers were in awe. 'All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.' (Acts 2:43-47).
"We pray to you Holy God to increase our numbers of those bold ones who would go forth in mission and ministry to make this territory a true united, hospitable, joy-filled, service-oriented, loving community. This is your desire, let it be our desire as well. Help us welcome the strangers amongst us and beckon them to join in with us in the land which you prepared for us.
"We thank you that we are the people you have placed here for your purpose, in your time and for your reasons. Fill us with your spirit and strength to complete our tasks on this holy ground in the Lock Haven and surrounding areas.
"We pray all of this through the one, Almighty God. Amen."
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Rev. Nancy Lee Goff is pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church, Lock Haven.